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I'm definitely not of the opinion that there is no place for this type of question. I do think, however, there are good examples and bad examples of how to go about it.

  • Made some work - Need feedback -- Not too bad. OP is asking for feedback about specific aspects of the example. Title isn't helping any though.
  • Game trailer feedback? -- Not a big fan of the openendedness here
  • Feedback please? -- Title useless for searching. OP gives no direction whatsoever as to what he's hoping to get out of the exchange.
  • Sound design feedback? -- Again with the title! Otherwise, this seems to be fairly focused question. It's openended insofar as it is just soliciting opinions, but at least there is some background and some attempted focus.

These were just a few of the first examples in a search for "feedback".

Going forward, do you think there should be guidelines/boundaries concerning how best to ask this type of question? I think these questions inherently walk the line between acceptable and "too localized". I think in order to keep them from being useful only to the OP, they...

  • Must have a descriptive title? If it's not searchable, its usefulness is severely handicapped.
  • Must be asking something specific rather than an openended "what do you think"?

Thoughts...?

  • Care to comment on the downvote? The whole point of this is to discuss the merits one way or the other. Do you disagree? Which part? Do you have an alternative approach? – JoshP Feb 23 '14 at 21:23
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Well, in this industry, asking for feedback is just standing in front of a speaker with a high gain mic ...

(I'll get my coat)

I'd say, for now, let's look at these on a case by case basis. High level guidance for good when it comes to these is pretty much obvious, but I suppose it could be stated:

Make sure your question has an actual question inside :)

Sure, asking for feedback is itself a question, but you should have some specific things you'd like people to touch on within the question, in order to help narrow the scope a bit.

That said, this hasn't been a major problem on SD yet - these don't get an absurd number of answers, they aren't used as trampolines very often to ask similar sorts of questions, and they don't overrun the site. I think it's good to be conscious of quality overall, we should keep an eye on these and revisit it if they become a problem.

One of the biggest strengths of this community is how relaxed, conversational and passionate everyone is about the topic. I'd like to preserve that as much as possible as we go through the transition of a small to a big city, and that's going to take a few years.

There will come a time when volume demands that we change a bit, but it's not going to be for a while.

  • Agreed; asking for feedback when you have specific questions is good, asking for general feedback is bad. I'd suggest using this diagram for critiques on Writers as a starting point for feedback requests here. – neilfein Mar 14 '14 at 1:26
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I believe that these feedback questions are useful to the OP as well as the site at large and should not be limited or eliminated from the scope of questions allowed on S.SE. They not only identify pros and cons with the work, but often serve up solutions that we all can benefit from reading and attempting to understand. Additionally, they force us to speak and understnad the language of sound design in a constructive and applicable manner because, "Yo, that explosion was the BOMB, man! WHOA!!!" won't quite cut it as an answer without some supporting arguments.

However, the use of the word "FEEDBACK" on these posts has always made me cringe as this is a site focused on sound and the term means something completely different to our field. I think the far more search-appropriate and generally useful term is "CRITIQUE", because that is what the OP is actually looking for. So it should be the first word in any post seeking it, followed by what in particular you're looking for feedback on.

For Example:

Even if there was nothing in the question other than a link to the OP's work, just from these titles I would understand what they are seeking "feedback" on. Any expounding on the topic (how they achieved the sound, what feeling they were trying to achieve, what their inspiration for creating the sound was, etc.) would be appreciated, but the goal and intent of the question would still be obvious.

  • I think we agree. I also believe that feedback (or critique -- also think that's better) questions are useful to the OP as well as the site at large. Although we used different language, I think we're both (correct me if I'm wrong) of the opinion that the post needs to articulate, as you put it, "what in particular you're looking for feedback on," in addition to a descriptive and searchable title. I do think, however, that the "CRITIQUE" bit is better as a tag, than a prefix to the title. – JoshP Mar 22 '14 at 2:24
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    @JoshP While I understand and agree that the tag should be used also, my eye is drawn to the question titles far more than the tags. That's why I think it's straightforward and obvious enough that it should be utilized in the title of the question. Plus it's more clear, concise , and consistent than "Need feedback" or "Looking for opinion". As for the post articulating more, like I said, if the title of the question is posed as such, I don't find it completely necessary. But I do believe that including more information in the post would spark a more intelligent discourse on the material. – Steve Urban Mar 22 '14 at 2:32
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I definitely think we want room for critiques on the site, so long as they don't become the dominant portion of the site. I think a good critique should setup the topic in such a way that it is really asking an answerable questions as much as possible. I think the key things are:

A) Here's what I'm trying to do.
B) What do you currently see as the strengths and weaknesses/problems, if anything.
C) Here's what I'm looking for feedback on/what kind of feedback I'm looking for.

This is really just another form of any number of other questions asking how to accomplish a goal and also sets up the possibility for reuse of question and answer by others in a similar situation facing similar issues.

I think it is still possible to address critique questions where one or more of those isn't known, but I think the best ones will be ones that can speak to those points.

My thoughts are that it is probably worth assembling a meta post specifically about how critiques should be handled. When a solid community standard emerges on it, we can then also create a tag for them and include the guidelines in the tag wiki for that tag and possibly include it (or a link to it) on the On-Topic page.

I think this would allow for us to both answer people's desire for feedback, critique and assistance while also organizing them in a way that is accessible and meaningful to other users in the future.

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